Californian State Park officials are proposing recreational developments in Big Basin Redwoods State Park that threaten the marbled murrelet, a federally endangered seabird. Murrelets are among the only seabirds that nest in trees, seeking refuge in the dense, moss-cloaked branches of old-growth redwoods. Big Basin’s redwoods harbor the largest population of the central coast marbled murrelet, which is genetically distinct from its cousins up north—and therefore vital to protect.!--/end tags-->
The State Department’s draft environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL pipeline—which in March concluded that the pipeline would have negligible climate impact—was criticized by environmental groups when it came out. Now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is questioning the report, suggesting that the State Department has underrepresented Keystone’s climate impacts, the associated safety concerns, and alternative pipeline routes.
Lead Poisoning Continues to Hinder California Condor Population Recovery, and Harm Other Bird Species
Since December, seven California condors, the largest and most endangered land bird in North America, have died around the Grand Canyon, the Center for Biological Diversity reports. The culprit in three of the cases—and suspected in the other four deaths—is poisoning from ingesting lead ammunition. Condors are scavengers that feed on carcasses and gut piles of elk, deer, and other animals; when those creatures have been shot by hunters who use lead ammunition, the birds ingest metal fragments with their meal.!--/end tags-->
Elected Leaders Try to Push Through With the Keystone XL Pipeline, But New Report Reassesses The True Climate Impact
A Keystone XL Pipeline pumping station in rural Nebraska
President Obama is due to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline later this year, but in the meantime, some members of Congress have decided to take matters into their own hands. As the deadline for the Keystone XL pipeline decision inches closer, the predictable political battles are being fought.!--/end tags-->
China has the world’s largest human population, coming in at 1.2 billion, and boasts some of the globe’s most progressive technologies and industries. It’s no surprise then that the country created one of the grandest fisheries fleets at the turn of the 21st century, one that included specialized bottom trawlers, squid jiggers, and mother ships that delivered catches to advanced ports.!--/end tags-->
The Bay of Panama—made up of a rich patchwork of wetlands, mud flats, and mangrove forests—is vital habitat not only for two million migrating birds like western sandpipers and whimbrels, but for turtles, monkeys, and jaguars. On top of that it is a key source of the nation’s seafood industry.
Tensions are heating up between environmentalists and energy proponents as governor Andrew M. Cuomo prepares to release a decision on whether the Empire State will regulate the drilling technology known as hydrofracking. If it does, New York will join a handful of other states allowing some level of “fracking,” including Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and several Midwestern states.!--/end tags-->
Pacific black brant geese with goslings. Photo: Jeff Wasley/USGS
Birds, caribou, and oil companies will share vast Alaskan wilderness. “[It’s] a victory for birds, wildlife, and America’s future,” Audubon president and CEO David Yarnold said of the first-ever management plan for the 22.8 million acre reserve in northern Alaska. “It says that some places really are too precious to drill.”!--/end tags-->
Just one day after the President’s call to action on climate change, today environmentalists are gathering outside the White House to protest the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline—a project that supports what climatologist James Hanson calls “one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet.”!--/end tags-->
With the federal civil trial against BP scheduled to begin on February 25, Audubon and other environmental groups have mounted a letter campaign to urge the government to fine the company the maximum amount possible for the Gulf Oil Spill. So far more than 100,000 people have sent letters. Audubon, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Environmental Defense Fund will deliver the letters on Wednesday, February 13.!--/end tags-->